Musings in the Dark: Learning to Love My Hair--Revisited

3/06/2012

Learning to Love My Hair--Revisited

Almost two years ago, I did the Big Chop.  For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it means I cut all of the relaxer out of my hair so I could be completely natural.  It ended up being about nine inches’ worth of perm.  The resultant cut was a short, stylish combination of loose and tight spirals.  It was about an inch and a half in length and very easy to maintain.  Finding the right products to maintain and grow my nat…not so much.

I started out using Miss Jessie’s, but you practically need a loan application to purchase her products.  Then I moved on to Mixed Chicks, which claimed to loosen the curl and didn’t.  From there, I tried Jane Carter & Garnier Fructis, and then “Organic” Root Stimulator products.  With each iteration, my hair did something I liked and something I didn’t.  These products claimed to work for natural hair, and being na├»ve, I spent my hard-earned cash because I wanted my hair to “do right.”  Not really knowing what that meant.  

I’m not a fan of the ‘fro; I have a big head and I don’t think it looks good on me.  So I started twisting my hair using pomades and hoping that my curls would loosen and my hair would fall.  Instead, I had a curly afro.  The quest to find something—anything—to detangle the “kitchen” (aka the back of the head) led me to the Natural Hair Show in Atlanta.  Again I spent money and again, I was dissatisfied.  It was not easy being natural for me, but I was determined to find something that worked.  I couldn’t bear to put any more chemicals or heat on my hair. 

Then in October, after a week-long war with the nat, I said fuck it and got kinky twists.  At this time, Noob (who is also a nat), found out about Naptural85 on YouTube.  Naptural, an absolutely stunning beauty, makes her own hair products using over-the-counter supplies.  Noob tried Naptural’s Shea Butter Pomade and loved it.  So when I took my braids down, I made some of my own.  I spent about $20 on the oils (there are 5) and shea butter.

*cue angels singing*  REVELATION!!!!

The first time I tried the pomade on my hair, I saw immediate results.  First of all, my hair fell instead of ‘fro-ing up.  Two, the natural curl pattern actually showed itself.  Three, it felt fantastic on my scalp.  Four, it was made of nothing but truly natural ingredients.  When I went back and looked at the ingredients on all the other products I’d used, there was nothing organic or natural about any of it.  I couldn’t pronounce half of the compounds and I’m a baby chemist.  So using something as clean as Naptural’s Shea Butter Pomade in my nat was like giving my hair a colonic.

Then I went further and used two more of Naptural’s suggestions: apple cider vinegar pre-rinse and honey-mayo-egg conditioner.  Again, an instant difference in the texture and gloss.  I added banana and olive oil to the mix and this is what I’m currently using.  From there, I went on a quest to find an all-natural shampoo to supplement the conditioning.  Naptural recommended black soap…and that is what I currently use.

The shea butter soaks right into my scalp and gives it all the nutrients it needs.  The conditioners enhance the curl pattern and add body and gloss.  The black soap cleans it without killing it.  I twist my hair after liberal use of the pomade and my curls are loose and spirally.  It’s grown about two inches since I started making the shea butter in December of 2011.  My hair looks great and feels wonderful.  It doesn’t feel yucky or sticky and doesn’t ‘fro up.  I’ve gotten used to the fact that my hair is not neat; it sticks up in odd places regardless as to what I do.   It is what it is and I don’t fight it.  My next step is to make Naptural's flaxseed hair gel  (She also has marvelous suggestions on easy natural hair styles and maintenance).

A marvelous side benefit of all this is that I use the black soap as bathing soap and the shea butter as lotion and lip balm.  So when I’m done with my hair, I just move on down.  My skin tone is even and smooth, and my skin is soft and supple.  I no longer get ashy.  I have saved so much money!!!  Winning.

For those of you on the fence or struggling in transition, I highly recommend Naptural 85.  Everything she does is cheap and simple and requires just a little time.  When I make a batch of pomade using one container of shea butter, it lasts me about six weeks (and this is using it for my hair and as lotion).  It’s totally worth it.  My adventure with my natural has taken me places I didn’t think I could go; the main one being cognizant of what and how I eat, but that’s for another post.  

2 comments:

  1. I love her and she has really helped me with my hair issues and encouraged me to try mixing oils to see what my hair likes.

    ReplyDelete
  2. CONGRATS!!

    Yeah, be careful with the products that claim to be natural. You can find some all natural products but many aren't. Keep us updated! :)

    ReplyDelete

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